By Carl G Vaught
This can be the ultimate quantity in Carl G. Vaught's groundbreaking trilogy reappraising Augustine's Confessions, a cornerstone of Western philosophy and probably the most influential works within the Christian culture. Vaught deals a brand new interpretation of the thinker as much less Neoplatonic and extra distinctively Christian than so much interpreters have inspiration. during this publication, he specializes in the main philosophical component of the Confessions and on the way it pertains to the former, extra autobiographical sections. A better half to the former volumes, which handled Books I-IX, this ebook will be learn both in series with or independently of the others.
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Extra info for Access To God In Augustine's Confessions: Books X-XIII (Bk.X-XIII)
He not only plunges into the depths of his experience in Books I–IX, but also deals with the philosophical problems that have a bearing on his journey toward God in Books X–XIII. One of the ways in which he brings these two dimensions of his enterprise together is to suggest that the transition between them is an example of faith seeking understanding. 33 Augustine deals with the discontinuity between Books IX and X, not only by moving from faith to understanding, but also by giving a confessional account of his present spiritual condition in the second part of Book X.
By doing this, he makes it clear that the problem of God and the soul is not only an existential question, but also a theoretical issue of considerable complexity. The second question that we must consider pertains to the difﬁcult problem of the unity of the text. For many interpreters, the Confessions is a bifurcated document, divided almost equally between experience and reﬂection. 29 This characterization of the book by its author prompts one of his critics to suggest that the Confessions is dictated haphazardly and that Augustine is never able to forge it into a unity: The entire work is divided into two parts which seem to have nothing whatsoever to do with each other.
But does Augustine intend to address this same audience in the ﬁrst part of the book that focuses on the problem of memory? This section deals with many technical problems that only a philosopher would be likely to appreciate, leading us to wonder whether the discussion of these issues is intended exclusively for members of the Church, or for members of a wider philosophical community. Had Augustine not committed himself so explicitly to the Christian community in the opening paragraphs of Book X, we might be warranted in concluding that his discussion of the nature of memory is addressed to the purely philosophical intellect.